Song 9 – Give me your eyes, I need sunshine

April 22nd, 2008

I’ll Believe In Anything – Wolf Parade

Give me your eyes
I need sunshine
Give me your eyes
I need sunshine
Your blood, your bones
Your voice, and your ghost

The definition of a love song is a very personal and ever-debatable thing. Do a random survey of the populous and you’ll undoubtedly end up with songs like I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston and that god-awful song by Bryan Adams from the soundtrack of that Kevin Costner film topping the list. This is why, when you use the term ‘love song’, most people who truly love/live indie music recoil just a little bit.

It seems a shame to me, though, to relegate the love song to TV montages and movies featuring Meg Ryan. It’s so much more than ‘I will always love you’ or ‘I would die for you’ or any other variation of this unimaginative, clichéd dialogue. Because that stuff is not only boring as cardboard, it’s more often then not overly melodramatic and depressing as hell. And there are truly amazing love songs out there just waiting to be found. And heard. And put on mix CDs. You sometimes have to look for them a bit is all.

I’m in love with a lot of love songs. Some of them are pokeyoureyeout obvious (like Gorecki by Lamb) and some not so obvious (umm – Closer by NIN?). I really believe though, in the deepest most cobwebby parts of my heart, that the greatest love song I have heard in my life to date belongs to Wolf Parade. Or should I say, to Spencer Krug. Because I think it started as his with Sunset Rubdown, and I do believe it will always be his.

Cut to very early 2007. A boy and a girl via various blog related means meet in the foyer of an Andrew Bird/Smog/Joanna Newsom gig. They, as the kids say, hit it off. Friendship ensues. Some solace in the way of music taste is found, and the girl gets an instant hit of new music (that of which she constantly craves) from her new, very learned friend.

Fast forward a few months and a few gigs and a few mix CDs and a few visits to the gallery and dinners and what not. Stop at a Wilco show where the line is maybe crossed. Maybe? Possibly. Did she kiss him or did he kiss her? Cue almost a week of giddy headedness and tummy butterflies. Fast forward a few days and then stop again at an Australian music festival in inner Sydney where the line is most definitely crossed. All question marks eradicated.

Now stop again at a small, decidedly haphazard and Lego-like terrace house in Newtown. The boy and girl of this story are on the couch, having awkwardly moved a few more steps toward alwaysandforever, or at least at the time, todayandfornow.

Want to know how music bloggers really get to know one another? There is no small talk. There is no discussion of day jobs of family history or your most embarrassing moment. Not when it comes to getting down and dirty with the getting to know you stuff. What there is is a dimly lit room and a couch and two iPods – each person driving the other’s headphones, playing song for song. There IS some discussion about what these songs mean to you, when you first heard it and what album it’s from. There is also a fair amount of ‘OMG this song is so amazing IT CHANGED MY LIFE’ etc. Music, to me, is the way to a person’s soul. It truly shows the person they are, how their mind works, and what is important to them. To me it’s the perfect get to know you exercise.

So the girl plays the boy some songs and the boy plays the girl a few songs from bands she knows nothing about. I actually can’t remember a lot of them now, but I think there was some Thermals, and definitely some Sunset Rubdown. And also, clearly, some Wolf Parade.

I’ll Believe In Anything hit me in the guts completely. I’m not sure if it was the potent combination of the situation and that piece of music – all around us was electricity and potential. And it tends to amplify things. I will tell you this though – I have listened to this song roughly a million times since that night and still stands up. Stands up and roars, actually. It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before. I mean, it was the tiniest bit reminiscent of Arcade Fire. Maybe. That orchestral cacophony of noise. But that VOICE – just completely unlike anything that had ever made it to my ears. Also, there is no other song on earth with as many staggering OMFG moments as Wolf Parade’s I’ll Believe In Anything. Get to 1:57 in – I challenge anyone to listen to this without feeling like their head might explode –

And I could take another hit for you
And I could take away your trips from you
And I could take away the salt from your eyes
And take away the spitting salt in you
And I could give you my apologies
By handing over my neologies
And I could take away the shaking knees
And I could give you all the olive trees
Oh
Look at the trees
And look at my face
AND LOOK AT A PLACE FAR AWAY FROM HERE

I can not listen to this song without wanting to throw myself around the room with just the sheer joy of it. I can’t listen to this song without thinking of and feeling the boy. It’s one of those things that just infuses your body with a rapturous energy and makes exploding stars out of everything around it. The second I hear that opening keyboard, through to the drums and cymbals coming in, and then that voice, every hair on my body is on end and I am sunlight and joy from beginning to end.

And let’s talk about the lyrics for a minute. We all know I’m a girl about the lyrics. I’ve already somewhat brashly declared I think this is the greatest love song ever written. I think to be in love with someone, to truly love them, is to be a lot of things. It’s about the excitement and giddiness, sure, but it’s also about security and sanctuary. It’s about finding a place in the world that sheds all the shit and has an organic ease to it. At least, that’s the way it should be, right?

If I could take the fire out from the wire
I’d share a life and you’d share a life
If I could take the fire out from the wire
I’d share a life and you’d share a life
If I could take the fire out from the wire
I’d take you where nobody knows you
And nobody gives a damn
I said nobody knows you
And nobody gives a damn

The way he sings this, and pushes it out into the air with the force of a gale, you believe with every fibre of your being that he means it. He wants the sanctuary. He wants to show her the sanctuary. There is also a desperation in the songs lyrics. Give me your eyes, I need sunshine. Krug seems to be almost pleading for a change of perspective. I will stand behind my opinion that this song could be done any old how, with any old instrument, and still maintain its beauty and thrust of meaning. I have recently heard the original Sunset Rubdown version of the song, with just the piano and the voice and the hand claps, and holy hell. It’ll bring a girl to tears. There is no way this song could ever be less than amazing.

This song and these lyrics are almost unrivaled in their passion. It is one of my life goals to see it played live. It is a love song for people who believe that passion needs to go unhinged, and that there is more to loving someone then Valentines Day and happy endings. It is an anthem for finding a person and immersing yourself in them completely.

And it is part of a story about a boy and girl who found one another in a shiny city and wrapped themselves up in the music.


2 Responses to “Song 9 – Give me your eyes, I need sunshine”

  1. Wayne on April 22, 2008 8:50 am

    Yes to real emotion, real heart and Wolfie. This song is so ecstatic it’s beyond belief. Thank you Spencer.

  2. Charlei Miller on June 23, 2008 12:52 am

    Could not agee with you more..

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